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JULY 27
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Moscow Travel Guide

Getting Around Moscow

BY METRO


Moscow's metro is the most common, efficient and wondrous way to traverse the city: many stations are fine works of art. Buses, trams and trolleybuses fill in the city and catching a taxi is easy.



Moscow's subway system is one of the most efficient and beautiful in the world. Stations in the center have enormous ceilings with opulent mosaics, chandeliers and statues. It's clean and efficient, with trains running every 90 seconds or so during the day. Station entrances are marked with a letter M. The Circle Line runs around the center, with nearly a dozen radial lines crossing it. In the center, no place is more than a 10-minute walk from a metro station, and stations are well distributed throughout the suburbs.

Getting Around Moscow


BY BUS, TROLLEYBUS AND TRAM

It's great to experience Moscow if you move around by city transport - Moscow is a big city and there're many places worth seeing. In some parts of Moscow the bus, trolleybus and tram are the only form of public transport. You can usually buy tickets from the driver and stamp them in a machine on the bus. Tickets cost 15 roubles ($0.60) in the metro and at transport kiosks, and monthly passes of all kinds are also on sale. If you don't have a ticket and get checked by the rare inspector, the fine is 100 roubles (about $3.80). You may also get kicked off the bus. Buses, trolleybuses and mini-buses offer a slightly less comfortable way of getting around town, and should be used when the metro won't take you where you need to go.



BY TAXI


Many Moscow drivers are happy to go a little bit out of their way for a few extra rubles, so taxis are cheap and ubiquitous. Just stick your arm out on any big street and a driver will stop. A safer bet is to order a cab through a taxi company. Some charge by the kilometre, some charge by the clock, and a few offer set rates for certain zones.

It's better to negotiate the price before starting a trip. When the driver recognizes you as a foreigner, he will try to make you pay the highest price. It is a good way to find out the fair price before (ask the locals). Most of the drivers will accept US dollars if you don't have roubles. In any case the car prices are relatively low, so it's a good way of moving around the city - usually it costs around 200-300 roubles ($7.50-$11) to get from the outskirts of Moscow to the Centrum and it's around 100 roubles ($3.50) to move around the Centrum.


Using the taxis is safer and sometimes even cheaper, but there are not many taxis on the streets, only in lively places. You can recognize a taxi by a typical 'chess' sign on top and yellow colour. Usually taxis take around 10 roubles ($0.3) for one kilometre (only inside Moscow).  Some taxis companies are: Allo Taxi, City Taxi, Krasnaya Gorka, Taxi 505, Taxi Club, XXL Taxi.


ROUTE TAXIS, or marshrutky, are minivans that take up to 10 people along several routes that bigger buses don't serve. Fares vary but are always less than a dollar. The destinations are marked on the front of the van in Russian only. The minivans are more convenient than buses, trams, or trolleys, but the drivers are often reckless and there are no seat belts.

BY CAR

To rent a car you should be 18 years old (Avis) and 25 (Hertz). You need to show them your passport, have a valid driving license for two years already, and a credit card (Visa, American Express, Europay, and Diners Club).
Moscow's traffic is overwhelming much of the day, and traffic police are hostile to anyone behind the wheel and rely heavily on on-the-spot "fines" for their incomes. Most sidewalks or walkways are fair game for parking, and there are very few parking garages. Knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet is strongly recommended for anyone driving in Russia, in order to decipher street signs. Some Rent-A-Car companies are: Avis, Budget, Hertz, Eleks-Polus, AM Rent, Budget Rent-a-Car, and Moscow Rental Service.


BICYCLES, SKATES, ROLLERBLADES


The rollerskates and skates are quite popular in Moscow during the summer. The mountain bikes are also gaining the popularity, however there are no special bike lanes and it's not safe to leave bikes on the streets, even attached. Going by bicycle is a great way to see the city, and you can move freely around. There are no official bike rentals in Moscow.


BY FOOT


The city have good places to walk. In the center things are close together and many theaters, hotels and restaurants are minutes from each other. Alexandrovsky Gardens, the Boulevard Ring and Red Square are some of the center's prettiest places to walk. There are a few architectural treasures to be found in the narrower streets of Kitai-Gorod and south of the Old Arbat. Still, outer Moscow is home to Sparrow Hills, Kolomenskaya and the Botanical Gardens, and many of Moscow's best places to stroll.



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